Former teacher donates $1.1M to help Jackson Catholic Schools attract, retain


JACKSON, MI – A $1.1-million gift to Lumen Christi Catholic School will help establish an endowed fund for Jackson Catholic Schools to attract and retain teachers at all four of its schools.

The gift came courtesy of a donation from the late Donna Ambs, a lifetime Jackson Catholic Schools educator. Ambs was a 1958 graduate of St. Mary Star of the Sea School, Jackson Community College and Michigan State University.

“As a former Jackson Catholic Schools teacher, Donna was happy to give back to the very place that helped enrich her life for so many years,” school officials said in a news release. “She believed the role of teacher was one of the noblest and most relevant professions in the world, and that it is vital that institutions like Jackson Catholic Schools be a welcome place for educators to build their careers and influence young lives.”

After college, Ambs moved back to the Jackson area to become a high school business teacher. When it opened in the fall of 1968, Ambs was among the founding group of teachers at Lumen Christi High School, teaching shorthand, secretarial block and typing classes.

During her time as an educator, Ambs was known for her refined disposition and high standards when it came to dress code, conduct, and personal standards with students, school officials noted, Ambs retired in 1997. She died in 2019 at age 78.

“Gifts such as this by Donna Ambs are crucial to our ability to accomplish our mission and continue to support family’s desire to educate their children in a school that promotes Catholic learning and academic excellence,” school officials said.

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